Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Anyone here built a bike rack that clears the tailgate of a pickup?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Anyone here built a bike rack that clears the tailgate of a pickup?

    A friend wants to build a bike rack to go in the receiver hitch on his Silverado pickup that will allow the tailgate to be lowered. He's looked at the swing-out racks, but wants something that moves back rather than to the side.

    He's sketched out something with four links and six hinges that allows the vertical post to move back about two feet to clear the tailgate. When the tailgate is closed, the vertical post is moved forward, and it's secured to the stationary part of the hitch so there's no load on the links and hinges when the truck is in motion.

    Of course, he wants it made of aluminum, and we've got some 2"x 1/8" wall square tubing we can use for most of the structure.

    I'm concerned about the hinges. With two or three bikes on the rack, the bending load on the hinges is going to be pretty high as the vertical post is moved back.

    Before I commit to the project, I'd like to hear some other ideas for the rack and some suggestions for making the hinges.
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    I'm concerned about the choice of material, never mind the hinges. With three bikes mounted and a long cantilever there's going to be a lot of flex and consequently the aluminium's going to fatigue sooner rather than later....

    You can minimize the bending stress on the hinges by increasing the overall size of the frame, ie having the horizontal arms a foot or more apart, and putting in one or more diagonal braces in each link/arm or boxing in the arms with a skin of thin aluminimum sheet. That may be impractical though, as you also have the trailer hitch and trailer to work around....
    Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men.

    Holbrook Model C Number 13 lathe, Testa 2U universal mill, bikes and tools

    Comment


    • #3
      First thing i would check into is to see if there are any Road restrictions of how far out anything can hang out the back.

      Comment


      • #4
        See if there is clearance to slide the tube through the receiver under the vehicle about 2 1/2 feet. If so, create a very looong insert drilled so it can be pinned in the in and out positions. If it works out, put a mount on the upright part of the bike carrier that rests on the top of the tailgate when it is in the down position. That would take the strain off the long moment arm of the extended insert.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not aware of any hitch mount bike racks that are made of aluminium, even the really expensive ones. I don't know what bikes your friend has, but downhill bikes can get up to 45lb each, so a 2 bike rack would need to take 100lb minimum. I wonder why he doesn't want to carry them in the bed (there a lots of neat ways of securing them) - is this for road trips?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bcassel View Post
            See if there is clearance to slide the tube through the receiver under the vehicle about 2 1/2 feet. If so, create a very looong insert drilled so it can be pinned in the in and out positions. If it works out, put a mount on the upright part of the bike carrier that rests on the top of the tailgate when it is in the down position. That would take the strain off the long moment arm of the extended insert.
            I did this with a bike rack I made about 20 years ago. It was a hanging rack and held the bikes under the top tubes. I gave it to my sister, and I think I had to cut the long extension off for her. It also had a "Y" footprint, so it would stand on it's own and could also be used as a repair stand.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
              I'm not aware of any hitch mount bike racks that are made of aluminium, even the really expensive ones. I don't know what bikes your friend has, but downhill bikes can get up to 45lb each, so a 2 bike rack would need to take 100lb minimum. I wonder why he doesn't want to carry them in the bed (there a lots of neat ways of securing them) - is this for road trips?
              I believe 1UP bike racks are mostly aluminum.

              http://www.1upusa.com/product-quikracksilverdouble.html

              Comment


              • #8
                What if you made it so the bikes just folded down like the tailgate only under it? Then you would only need a simple hinge to fold down with a solid stop and shot pin to keep them vertical.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have what you describe except it is made from steel. Much better IMHO.

                  http://www.softride.com/rack-product...itch_bike_rack

                  It attaches to the trailer hitch socket with one bolt. It is a three piece design where the two arms that hold the bike detach for easier handling and storage. This makes for lighter lifting when installing it so the steel construction is not a problem. It holds up to four bikes but I have only used it with one. The arms are also secured with pins and can be mounted in a folded down position if you are driving without a bike on it. I just take them off and put them in the back of the truck so they won't walk away.

                  When it is installed and one or more bikes are on it, you simply pull a Tee handled pin and it folds down to the rear. Then the tailgate can be opened (carefully of course) to allow loading and unloading. This is a bit awkward with a bike on the rack, so I usually took the bike off first. But I do not have to remove the rack and this is a blessing on long trips.

                  I did have one problem with it. The nut plate, inside the tang, was simply two standard nuts held in a plastic piece that slides into it. After several uses, the plastic broke and the captive nuts would just spin when you tried to mount it. Poor design. I took the nuts out, tossed the broken plastic away, and made a steel nut plate and had the nuts welded to it. No more problems. I wrote to the manufacturer about this but there was no response and I doubt that they changed anything.

                  I doubt that you can make one for the internet price, but if you are going to DIY anyway, I can take better photos and supply dimensions.
                  Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-21-2013, 07:10 PM.
                  Paul A.

                  Make it fit.
                  You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like the parallelogram design, but it's made to clear a liftgate instead of a tailgate.



                    The tailgate is shown in red with the dimensions. I'm pretty sure it won't clear.

                    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a full sized, GMC Sierra pick up. It has a standard tailgate. It has a heavy duty trailer hitch installed under the bumper. I have that exact model bike rack. I have used it on a cross country trip. It does clear the tailgate. I think a Silverado is about the same size as a Sierra.

                      If you have a smaller truck, I can not guarantee the same, but on my truck it works just fine. I think the above sketch has the tailgate too low.

                      Oh, there are two mounting holes in the tang. The photo looks like it is mounted in the closer position. It can be a few inches further out. I will try it in both positions in the AM and report.

                      When I bought it I was quite worried about the strength of the design. In several thousand miles of travel, I have not seen any signs of wear and it is as tight as when it was new. But I would have real doubts about using aluminum.

                      Paul A.



                      Originally posted by winchman View Post
                      I like the parallelogram design, but it's made to clear a liftgate instead of a tailgate.



                      The tailgate is shown in red with the dimensions. I'm pretty sure it won't clear.

                      Paul A.

                      Make it fit.
                      You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        His Silverado is an '07 with a receiver hitch below the bumper, so it should be almost identical to your truck. I'd really appreciate it if you'd take a picture of the rack with the tailgate down so I can show it to him.

                        I'd also like to know if the two links of the parallelogram are solid or tubes. The ad for the one I looked at said it weighed over thirty pounds, so I'm thinking it was made with solid pieces.
                        Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Photos, as promised:

                          Mounted at the closest position. The other mounting hole would put it about 3" further from the tailgate if you need more clearance.



                          It mounts to the hitch socket with one bolt so it is quick and easy.

                          Another view.


                          Now it is folded down for access.


                          And with the tailgate fully down. Notice there is about 1" clearance.


                          In this down position, there is room for the bike(s) to stay on the rack so you do not have to remove them to access the truck bed. But, of course, it is easier to do it that way.

                          Have to divide this post into two due to photo limits.
                          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-22-2013, 04:48 PM.
                          Paul A.

                          Make it fit.
                          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here you can see just how clear the area is for loading and unloading. Of course, with one or more bikes on it, you would have to get between the bikes and the tailgate or approach it from the side.


                            Here is a top view showing that it is not made from solids. The members are tubular.


                            And a closer top view. You can also see the Tee handle pin used for folding it down and up. It holds it quite well.


                            You can see that there are multiple holes for mounting the arms. They can be mounted either in a wide position as I have them here or closer together. They also will mount horizontal for holding the bikes or drop to a vertical position if you drive around without the bikes. Of course, as I said before, I take them off and put them in the truck so they don't grow feet and run away.

                            Finally, here it is broken down into three pieces and stored in minimum space on my garage wall.


                            It only took about 10 minutes to mount it, take the photos, and return it to the garage storage.

                            I did a lot of research before buying this rack, both at local bike shops and on the web. It is clearly better than many that would have cost as much as twice the amount.

                            In case you are curious, I added the folded towel with a couple of cable ties to prevent the bike from rubbing against the rack and scratching the paint on both of them.
                            Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-22-2013, 04:46 PM.
                            Paul A.

                            Make it fit.
                            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Basically, it does swing further down than their photo shows. So, it does work on pickups.
                              Paul A.

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X